Prepare to dim the lights forever: ‘American Idol’ ends after 15 seasons

Prepare to dim the lights for the last time as “American Idol” is coming to a close after 15 long seasons.

On Wednesday, May 13, 2015, Connecticut cutie Nick Fradiani reigned victorious against runner-up Clark Beckham on the 14th season of the iconic show. Judge Jennifer Lopez favored him from the beginning while Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban jumped on toward the end.

Auditions for the final season began on Thursday, May 14 and go through Monday, September 29. Although many are unaffected by the end of the show, others are more than devastated and feel that it is an end of an era.

Freshman Katie Strych said, “I’ve been watching this show for as long as I can remember, and I can’t believe its really going to be over. This show introduced me to music and influenced the rest of my life.”

In honor of the end of this iconic show, here is my personal interpretation of the last 14 seasons.

Season 1: I don’t even remember this season. It aired on June 11, 2002 right after my second birthday. Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson judged. Ryan Seacrest (yep, he never left) and Brian Dunkleman (who even is he?) co-hosted. This season did produce one of pop and country music’s biggest superstars, Kelly Clarkson, who is still successful today.

Season 2: This aired on January 21, 2003 with the same judges and Seacrest as the host. Cowell’s iconic harsh commentary really came out this season as Abdul attempted to keep him under control. Ruben Studdard took home the gold, and Clay Aiken was the runner up. We did get a Christmas album out of this season, though. Studdard also personally apologizes for this season taking up television time.

Season 3: Is this season even a real thing? Fantasia Barrino won and I don’t think she ever sung again.

Season 4: Good job, Season 4! Airing on January 18, 2005, this is the first season I personally remember watching, and it will always be my favorite. Country Queen Carrie Underwood slayed the competition and took everybody else down. She is quite possibly the most successful out of all the idols.

Season 5: This season was another Idol mistake. From January 17, 2006, Taylor Hicks didn’t really seem like a true contender, and looked more like he was 50. Somehow, he still managed to win, even though lead singer of the band Daughtry, Chris Daughtry, was against him.

Season 6: Popularity peaked around this time, and the season premiere became a two night special on January 16-17, 2015. A new record of 609 million votes were cast, and the judges became iconic Idol figures. Jennifer Hudson was also a tough contender in this season. We had the youngest winner ever, Jordin Sparks, the last female to win until season 12.

Season 7: Ever heard of David Cook and David Archuleta? Season 7 made two sweet, friendly boys famous and loved around the country from the time we met them on January 15, 2008. Seacrest and the judges kept everybody intrigued and hooked on Idol.

Season 8: Singer-songwriter Kara DioGuardi joined Jackson, Cowell, and Abdul, and held her own in the close-knit group. Airing on January 13, 2009, this season produced 100 million votes, surpassing every future and past season. Adam Lambert was probably responsible for about 99.9 percent of the votes, and my mom is still obsessed with him and his signature eyeliner. Unfortunately, Kris Allen won and poor Lambert was only runner-up, even though nobody even knows who Allen is anymore and Lambert is the lead singer of Queen.

An anonymous freshman said, “This was my favorite season because I had the biggest crush on Adam Lambert. I thought he was so hot and I liked his style.”

Season 9: From January 12, 2010, fans were confused and slightly excited to see Ellen DeGeneres replace Abdul in the judges panel and add some much-needed humor to the show after Season 8. Lee DeWyze’s hypnotizing voice earned him the title; however, he did not do much with it.

Season 10: AKA THE BEST SEASON EVER. This season produced my first love, Scotty McCreery, his first love, Lauren Alaina, and fan favorites like Pia Toscano, Stefano Langone and Casey Abrams. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez joined veteran Jackson to make up one of the best judge panels ever. The tour from this season is also probably my favorite concert. This season brought 11 idols on tour as the judges used their save on Abrams. McCreery won over America with his deep country twang and love for McDonalds’ sweet tea. The finale also made huge headlines as 16-year-old runner-up Alaina planted a big kiss on 17-year-old McCreery in honor of his win.

Season 11: From January 18, 2012, something was obviously wrong. Seacrest started to get super annoying and Tyler got a little creepy. Winner Phillip Phillips (Really Mrs. Phillips? Why did you do that to your child?) seemed to almost keep up with McCreery until he just didn’t and caused a lawsuit with the producers.

Season 12: Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj destroyed the show. The constant cat fights between Carey and Minaj were not amusing, and Jackson just seemed too old to put up with their drama. Props to Candice Glover for being the first female winner since Season 6, though.

Season 13: TBH I couldn’t bring myself to watch this season after the atrocity called Season 12. Thankfully, they replaced Jackson, Minaj, and Carey by bringing back J-Lo and adding Connick Jr. with Urban. Also, some sweaty guy with a long greasy hair named Caleb Johnson won, apparently. Just goes to show how much he did with his new title.

Season 14: Airing on January 7, 2015, Nick Fradiani was a favorite from the beginning. When he joined #TeamDimples in the group round of Hollywood Week, about 75 percent of the female population fell in love. He auditioned with his bitter pink-haired girlfriend Ariana, who did not walk away with a golden ticket for her ridiculous rendition of the cup song. After the auditions, the relationship obviously went downhill and, eventually and thankfully, the couple broke up.


Although it has started to fail, “American Idol” will stay alive for one more season, airing in January 2016. Tune in on Fox to watch me and staff writer Caroline Albert share our best sob stories and worst dance moves in order to meet Jennifer Lopez (Caroline’s birth mother) while embarrassing ourselves on national television.

Which season do you think was the most epic of the fails?

#AmericanIdol #DanaSteinberg #ScottyMcCreery #SeasonXV

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